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Religion in Poland Posted by on Sep 6, 2017 in Culture, History, Religion

In past centuries, when Poland was still a kingdom, the Polish gentry had the motto: “God, Honor, Fatherland”/”Bóg, Honor, Ojczyzna”, where God was always in the leading position as religion is said to have remained an important element of Polish consciousness and identity.

When talking about Poland, “religion” often means “Catholicism”. About 87% of Poles are Roman Catholics, although this number may be overestimated as the statistics often include people who were baptised Catholic, even if they later abandoned the Church. Anyway, Catholics make the most significant religious group and this religion is a subject studied at school, even though this is not obligatory.

The most esteemed person for many Poles was John Paul II, the Polish Pope (1920-2005). His popularity is based upon his many pilgrimages and his open attitude towards people, and among the youth he often surpassed the fame of current singers and actors. John Paul II was also known as a supporter of the ecumenical movement, and he played an important role in the fall of communism in Poland.

Church in Wrocław I stopped by, while visiting Poland few years ago

There are many places in Poland that are considered holy by Christians, particularly Catholics. The most renowned is the imposing monastery of Jasna Góra in Częstochowa, where the monastery church contains the miraculous icon of the Black Madonna. The latter is the reason why many thousands of people make pilgrimages here, particularly for August 15th, the Day of the Assumption of St Mary. Among other pilgrimage centres in Poland are Licheń, Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, Łagiewniki in Kraków, Święta Lipka, Niepokalanów, Wambierzyce, and Góra Świętej Anny.

The other religions of Poland today are predominantly Christian, including Byzantine Catholics (Uniates), Orthodox Christians, Armenians, Old-Believers, Evangelical Reformed, Evangelical Augsburg, Evangelical Methodist, Seventh-Day Adventists, Pentecostals, and Jehovah’s Witnesses. There are also communities of Muslims, Jews, Karaims, and Hare Krishnas.


I’m a …- jestem …

Christian – chrześcijaninem
Muslim – muzułmaninem
Buddhist – buddystą
Hindu- hinduistą
Protestant – protestantem
Catholic – katolikiem

I’m Jewish – jestem Żydem

do you believe in God? – wierzysz w Boga?

do you believe in life after death? – wierzysz w życie po śmierci?

do you believe in reincarnation? – wierzysz w reinkarnację?

is there a … near here? – czy jest tu w pobliżu … ?
church – kościół
mosque – meczet
synagogue – synagoga
temple – świątynia

According to Poland’s Constitution freedom of religion is ensured to everyone. It also allows for national and ethnic minorities to have the right to establish educational and cultural institutions, institutions designed to protect religious identity, as well as to participate in the resolution of matters connected with their cultural identity.

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About the Author: Kasia

My name is Kasia Scontsas. I grew near Lublin, Poland and moved to Warsaw to study International Business. I have passion for languages: any languages! Currently I live in New Hampshire. I enjoy skiing, kayaking, biking and paddle boarding. My husband speaks a little Polish, but our daughters are fluent in it! I wanted to make sure that they can communicate with their Polish relatives in our native language. Teaching them Polish since they were born was the best thing I could have given them! I have been writing about learning Polish language and culture for Transparent Language’s Polish Blog since 2010.